In 2002, three young Northern California women put their stake in the ground on Fillmore Street in San Francisco at International Orange (IO), a day spa named, meaningfully, for the paint color of the Golden Gate Bridge.
Melissa Ferst is the owner and co-founder of International Orange. Originally from the South Bay, Melissa stayed close to her Italian-American, orange farming family and attended UC Berkeley, graduating in 1996. She soon landed in San Francisco where she ran the non-profit, The Random Acts of Kindness Foundation, and then went on to manage PR, marketing and event planning at Alexander Ogilvy Worldwide and Embark.com. While cutting her teeth in the corporate world, Melissa discovered a passion for yoga and wellness, earning her yoga teacher training certification from The Mindful Body and teaching classes throughout the city.
With her newfound passion for holistic wellness and a desire to do something different, Melissa took the leap into entrepreneurship and partnered with co-founders Amy Darland and Kary Chendo to create International Orange, which opened in the spring of 2002. A decade later in 2012, Melissa became sole owner of International Orange and has maintained its place as San Francisco’s favorite urban day spa.
Melissa credits the spa’s success to her extraordinary team of talented staff and service providers. “I am honored and privileged to be able to do this for a living, especially alongside all of the amazing people I get to work with daily,” she says.
Melissa lives in Marin County with her husband, David, and 3 children, Logan, Mateo and Evie.
Maureen Dooley (SAN FRANCISCO + MARIN) has been playing massage since a young girl, and practicing professionally since 2005. She was trained at the McKinnon Institute in Oakland, CA and the Vancouver School of Bodywork and Massage in Vancouver, BC. Maureen believes in deep but gentle work, and intends to bring profound relaxation to her clients. Her bodywork is infused with her past and present studies of yoga, dance, mindfulness and anatomy and physiology. While not practicing massage at IO she is studying to be a nurse, running around in the great outdoors, cooking and crafting away, and dreaming up means and manners of global adventures. Her belief is that the creation of sanctuary is incredibly and powerfully healing. CA Massage Permit #09212
Michelle Dooley (SAN FRANCISCO) has a client centered massage style and intention, treating each session as sacred. She likes to incorporate a lot of stretching within a Swedish/Esalen style massage, working a client’s full body while using deeper work (deep tissue or pressure points) to focus on areas of concern. Michelle also incorporates energy work into every session. She really likes to work with clients who are using massage as a tool to work towards a personal goal, whether that be to deepen their meditation practice, yoga practice, training for a triathlon, or just be more present in their life and body. Michelle has been practicing massage since 1999, studying at Twin Lakes College of the Healing Arts, and has continued her education at San Francisco School of Massage and Bodywork. CA Massage Permit #58548
Sarah Gehrer (SAN FRANCISCO) has a heart centered approach to massage with rhythm and flow. She considers bodywork as an art and that intentions can become fulfilled when there is a mutual sense of trust and collaboration. Her nurturing and unique style of bodywork has been shaped by the healing art of Shiatsu, Thai, Swedish, Myofascial Therapy, Deep Tissue, and Energy Work. All of these modalities have given her a wide range of tools for the physical body as well as the mental, emotional and spiritual body. Her healing arts education includes 900 hours of training at The National Holistic Institute for Massage Therapy, where she received her certification as a Massage Therapist and Health Educator. Sara is passionate about the journey of healing and hopes to continue nurturing many along the way. CA Massage Permit #54183
Pamela Gilmour (SAN FRANCISCO) has been practicing Shiatsu and Traditional Chinese Medicine since 2010. She attended American College of Traditional Chinese Medicine in San Francisco. She is trained in Acupuncture, Chinese Herbal Medicine, Cupping, Shiatsu, Cranio-sacral, Thai, Deep Tissue, and Swedish. In 2013, Pamela completed a clinical acupuncture certificate through the Zhejiang Chinese Medical University in Hangzhou, China. Before delving into the world of holistic medicine, Pamela studied Visual Art at the University of California, San Diego. She brings together her well rounded understanding of balance with her massage and acupuncture skills treating stress, chronic and acute pain, post operative recovery, dietary and digestive issues, sleep issues and promotes general well being.
CA Massage Permit # 58218, CA Acupuncture License # AC16691
Brasnick Hill (MARIN) goes by the nickname, Braz. He strives for perfection with every massage genuinely cares for each individual by truly customizing treatments to best suit clients needs. Braz has always been drawn to a naturally hands on approach, with a background in American Sign Language and Mixed Martial Arts. He loves massage therapy and sees it is an art where he is able push his creative side to give most genuine and unique treatments to every client. Braz is versed in many modalities including, Swedish, Deep Tissue, Myofacial Release, Shiatsu-Swedish, Polarity therapy, Cranial sacral, Lymphatic Drainage, Reiki, and Hot Stone. CA Massage Permit #48639
Heather Hughes (SAN FRANCISCO) began her wellness career at IO while gaining her BA at SFSU. During her time on the front desk she was exposed to, and inspired by, all we had to offer including skilled staff, our beautiful aesthetic and top-of-line products. After moving to get married, start a family and find a career, she decided that massage was her true calling. After gaining certification at San Francisco School of Massage, she returned to IO and began working on the massage team. Heather embraces all forms of healing and lives a holistic and natural way of life. She has practiced with world-renowned deep tissue expert Art Riggs and continues to practice and learn from her amazing coworkers. Her strongest attributes are her natural way of nurturing clients and being very approachable. These, combined with our signature IO massage, will have your body slip into deep relaxation. SF Massage Permit #09265
Sarah Jetton (MARIN) was diagnosed with mild scoliosis at the age of 10. Having an open mind to alternative therapies, her mother began taking her to a massage therapist every week. Over time, her spine straightened. This was the introduction into the great healing benefits of massage therapy for Sarah. From there, a life long interest and passion in learning and practicing in bodywork began. She became a certified massage therapist in 2007 at Diamond Light School of Massage and Healing Arts. She is known for a firm, intuitive and deeply healing touch. A vast creative skill set that taps into what each individual client needs from a relaxing swedish-esalen blend to a curative deep tissue massage. She is also trained in acupressure, aromatherapy, hot stones, mixed modalities, Reiki and sports massage. A certified Health and Wellness coach compliments her offerings in working with clients. Her philosophy in wellness is deeply rooted in nourishing ourselves from the inside out. Taking time to reset and reconnect with our bodies has the capacity to meet our days with greater grace. Larkspur Massage Permit #20161103
Kelly Mekonenn (MARIN) is a graduate from Sonoma college with an advanced body worker degree. She has been in the hair, skin and body industry for over 20+years and is a licensed cosmetologist, body worker, chef and alchemist. She is trained in Shiatsu, Reiki, Thai, Deep Tissue, Swedish, Hot Stone, the Lomi Lomi and specializes in pre and post natal. She volunteers at Hospice where she performs Reiki on patients. When not practicing body work, Kelly enjoys cooking, yoga and spending time with her family.
Scott Moore (SAN FRANCISCO) began his massage interest in high school. As the manager for the girls volleyball and basketball teams, he first learned how the benefits of massage and stretching techniques aided his player’s performance, as well as decreased recuperation time. Holding onto that knowledge, he became a Licensed Massage Therapist in 2006 from the Red Mountain Institute of the Healing Arts in Alabama. Through continuing his education, Scott is adept in trigger point therapy along with energy work. His bodywork is an integrative adaptation of deep tissue, neuromuscular and trigger point that returns the muscle to it’s original resting state while relaxing the entire body. CA Massage Permit #32821
Jenny Nicol (SAN FRANCISCO) grew up on a farm in Scotland and feels incredibly lucky to have been brought up surrounded by nature. Her childhood followed by time working on organic farms in Spain and in the biodynamic medicinal gardens of Weleda, led her on a path to holistic healing. She saw the move to California as the perfect opportunity to embark on her career in massage. Jenny studied at McKinnon School in Oakland where she trained in Swedish, Touch for Chronic Illness, Tui Na, Sports and Clinical Deep Tissue. The later gave her a good grounding in pathologies and anatomy allowing her to target holding patterns in the body using Trigger Point, Myofascial Release and Muscle Energy Techniques. Her comfortable presence and nurturing touch allows her deep work to also be calming and deeply relaxing. Whether you’re looking for a relaxing massage or are recovering from an injury, Jenny listens to the client and provides intuitive and personalized care to facilitate the body’s own healing. In her spare time she loves to cycle and explore the bay area. She plans to broaden her knowledge with Acupressure and Shiatsu in the near future. CA Massage Permit #61666
Jennifer Paden (SAN FRANCISCO) has been practicing massage therapy since 1998. She attended The Academy of Healing Arts in Lake Worth, FL to receive her massage therapy education. She has trained in Deep Tissue, Swedish, Neuromuscular, acupressure and Reiki. She feels blessed to have had a very diverse career ranging from physical rehabilitation, chiropractic care, wellness and prevention, spa and hospice care. She finds massage to be an important part of wellness in all phases of life. Jennifer believes a massage should strike the balance between therapeutic and nurturing and be tailored to your needs, taking into consideration injuries, areas of chronic tension, stress level and desired pressure. CA Massage Permit #11153
Sarah Pedlow (SAN FRANCISCO + MARIN) has been practicing bodywork since completing her 1,000 hour certification at the Finger Lakes School of Massage, Ithaca, NY, in 2005. An interest in alternative health and thinking about bodywork as a meditation led her to follow a path in the healing arts. Her work combines Swedish, Connective Tissue, elements of Shiatsu, Neuromuscular Therapy, and Reiki level II to assist the body’s natural healing process and return a sense of wholeness. She enjoys employing gentle to firm techniques to address injuries and patterns of holding. Clients have commented on her intuitive, deeply listening presence and healing hands. Sarah holds a BA in Studio Art and French Studies from Scripps College, Claremont, CA, and an MFA in Visual Arts from Rutgers University. In addition to her work at IO, she’s has a textile business working with international artisans. She views massage as an extension of her creative practice. CA Massage Permit #37004
Jeff Pontillo (SAN FRANCISCO) has over 1500 hours of professional training in Neuromuscular Therapy, Kinesiology, Cranio-Sacral Therapy and Shiatsu. He received his initial certification at the Boulder College of Massage Therapy in 1996. In addition he has a degree in Psychology from the Evergreen State College where he created an independent study program in Somatics and Transpersonal approaches to bodywork. He then went on to study Hanna Somatics, Yoga Therapy, the Feldenkrais method and the Alexander technique at Antioch University in Seattle at the Master’s level. Jeff has engaged a consistent and committed meditation practice for more than twenty years. He began a consistent practice of Yoga in 1995. Jeff has attended levels I and II of Richard Freeman’s Teacher Training Intensives. Classical Ashtanga is Jeff’s foundational practice and study. His aim in the therapeutic setting is to help clients connect with their innate ease and freedom. He works intensively to facilitate sensory-motor awareness to release long standing patterns of trauma, pain, and/or immobility. His working hypothesis is that pain and restriction in the body are simply unnecessary byproducts of degenerative, chronic patterns of misalignment. Whether you are looking to simply relax, speed recovery time between exercise, or become free from aches and pain, Jeff can tailor a custom session to meet your needs. CA Massage Permit #36606
Joyful Raven Simpson (SAN FRANCISCO) is a northern Californian native who has been practicing massage since 2001, after attending Virginia School of Massage. She specializes in a fluid style of deep tissue that addresses your clinical concerns and simultaneously leaves you feeling cared for and relaxed. She brings a nurturing attentiveness to the table and believes that good bodywork starts with good communication. She integrates many modalities into her session including Myofascial, Sports massage, Shiatsu, Trigger point, Deep tissue, and classic Swedish relaxation. CA Massage Permit #36740
Lisa Souza (SAN FRANCISCO) has dedicated her life to facilitate others in their health and wellbeing. Helping people as a whole; Body, Mind, and Spirit. She has chosen Massage Therapy as a tool in hopes to reach out to all who need assistance in healing. Lisa has been energetically drawn to alternative therapies since she was a child, though her massage journey began in 2002. Since then it has blossomed into a full time passion, leading her to study other avenues of holistic health care such as healing through nutrition, aromatherapy, yoga, and herbal and homeopathic remedies. Lisa tends to her own garden of medicinal herbs, and seasonal vegetables, where she makes a variety herbal tinctures, salves, and flower essences. Lisa combines Reiki, Deep Tissue, Acupressure, and Stretching into her sessions and she is also trained in Bowen Pain Relief Therapy, and BodyTalk Therapy. CA Massage Permit #39426
Amanda Wong (SAN FRANCISCO) began her interest in massage during high school and continued through college. After graduating from UC Santa Cruz with a major in Cultural Anthropology and a minor in Sociology, she moved to San Francisco to become a certified massage therapist. She studied at the World School of Massage and Holistic Healing Arts. The World School has given her so many tools to understand and heal herself, and it is her joy to share those skills with others. Amanda combines a blend of swedish, deep tissue, cranio-sacral, and trigger point therapies in order to help clients find relief in their bodies. She specializes in Vibrational Healing Massage Therapy, which uses fluid, active (rather than passive) techniques to clear blockages held in muscles or joints. This therapy may also include discussing issues in clients’ lives. By examining the stories they tell about themselves, Amanda and her clients discover how those stories might create a pattern of dis-ease within the body. With the use of conscious language, she coaches her clients to adopt healthier mindsets, which in turn leads to healthier bodies. She also loves to use chakra balancing to calm client’s minds and help them achieve more restful sleep. Amanda chooses to be a body worker because she feels most alive when making deep connections with others. She is committed to a holistic lifestyle and she believes in the body’s innate intelligence to heal itself. Her goal is to help clients find more ease, comfort, clarity and joy in their bodies, minds, and souls. CA Massage Permit #59078
Kala Wright (SAN FRANCISCO) has been practicing massage therapy since completing her certification in 2003 from The World School of Massage and Advanced Healing in San Francisco, CA. On the healing path for over a decade, she began her studies in earnest after receiving bodywork while in treatment for cancer, where she witnessed firsthand the powerful combination of healing touch and full presence to re-align, heal, and deeply transform mind, body and spirit. Deeply committed to offering to others what she herself received, she began both her career as a Massage Therapist and a life-long study in the myriad ways in which we can create balance, wholeness, flow, and vibrant health in our bodies and on every level of our being. Kala combines a wealth of modalities (among them firm Swedish, Vibrational Healing (VHMT), Reiki level II, elements of Shiatsu, Thai, Acupressure and Reflexology) along with somatic and multidimensional awareness, in order to fully address each client’s unique needs as the session unfolds. Her fluid, rhythmic bodywork style has been described as intuitive, nurturing, effective for pain and stress-relief, integrative, and deeply relaxing. A firm believer in the saying “the body never lies”, Kala treats each session as an opportunity to listen to the truth your body has to share. CA Massage Permit #00930
Will Yturriaga (MARIN) is lifetime practitioner of traditional martial arts and teaches professionally. Massage and Acupressure techniques are an essential part of his martial arts discipline. This background gives him a unique approach and understanding of pain management with his clients, where he combines massage, qigong and health education as a holistic approach to health. With ten plus years of hands on experience, Will is well versed in Deep Tissue, Swedish, Cranial Sacral, Myofascial Release, Acupressure, and Sports massage modalities. Will enjoys helping others and sharing his skills with those in need. CA Massage Permit #67920
Elizabeth Zuzel (MARIN) has been certified in therapeutic Massage and Bodywork since 2004. Modalities the she specializes in are in Swedish, Deep Tissue, Medical Massage, Prenatal, Hot Stone, Sports: Pre and Post Event, Lymphatic Drainage, Aromatherapy, Hydrotherapy and Reflexology. In that time of practice she has continued studies in Upledger’s Craniosacral Therapy, Healing Touch Therapy, Reiki, Chakras, the Rotator Cuff, Sciatica, Myofascial Release Techniques and Lomi Lomi. CA Massage Permit #15858
Eleanor Bagley (SAN FRANCISCO) grew up in the rural holistic environment of West Marin, where health and natural beauty are a central part of the community. From her influential upbringing Eleanor has become a passionate advocate of skin care and a healthy lifestyle. Growing up in the restaurant business and finding the relation between food and the benefits of bio-dynamically farmed ingredients for skincare products has always been an interest. Eleanor began her journey to becoming a master esthetician and a CIDESCO trained diplomat certified by Zurich Switzerland. Trained in the latest beauty regimes, ingredients and alternative practices, such as manual lymphatic drainage. With her true beliefs in the science behind skin care, gaining knowledge and continuing a certified education in cosmetic ingredients and aromatherapy has become a huge part of her practice. Eleanor educates her clients on proper skin regimes for skin issues as well as maintaining a beautiful long lasting complexion from the inside out. With a true intuitive and nurturing nature Eleanor provides just the right amount of care, relaxation and technicalities into every treatment for every clients needs. Providing a balance between nature and science Eleanor is bound to put you on the right track to achieving your skincare goals. CA Permit #Z85252
Zoe Faber (MARIN) has always had a passion for skincare, and believes in a holistic, natural approach to health, wellness and beauty. Having battled skin concerns herself, Zoe offers years of personal experience, knowledge, and compassion. She has a gentle yet effective approach, nurturing and meticulously caring for the specific needs of each client’s skin. Her goal is to provide clients with extraordinary service and the feeling of being radiantly beautiful. An enthusiast about ingredient efficacy, Zoe is able to to help clients choose appropriate at-home care to achieve their skincare goals with long-lasting results. She believes that simple can be effective, in both ingredients and a skincare regimen. Zoe was trained and licensed in San Francisco and has worked in the spa industry since 2010. CA Permit #Z104583
Jennifer Gallegos (SAN FRANCISCO + MARIN) is the IO Esthetics Manager and has provided purposeful, meticulous care since 2002. Her warm, intuitive style puts clients immediately at ease and has earned her a loyal, long-term following. Through trust-filled relationships, Jennifer helps guide clients through the changing needs of their skin and achieve glowing results. Having co-developed her own line of products, Preserve Skincare, Jennifer is an expert in product knowledge and has a passion for providing preventative and corrective treatments and home-care. She is a master of brow design and facial toning massage, and loves to perform advanced peels. Her clients claim that she has healing hands that melt away tension and a knack for getting problematic skin back on track. She provides a holistic approach to skin care, not only examining the face, but the bigger picture as well, including nutrition and lifestyle. Jennifer continues to develop an outstanding esthetics program at IO, and leads an inspiring group of talented estheticians. CA Permit #Z38287
Jennie Hearn (SAN FRANCISCO + MARIN) has been a leader and member of the IO Esthetics program since day one. In 2002, she spearheaded the establishment and growth of IO’s Esthetics team through hiring, management and innovative product and treatment additions through the early years. For a few years, Jennie’s team involvement came to a pause so she could focus on her family, but has remained a part of the IO family and intimately connected to our sustained growth as leaders in the field of skin and wellness the entire time. While keeping up with the fads that come and go, she has an understanding of what really works as she aims for results driven skincare coupled with a no holds barred approach to extractions and her extensive massage background, her facials have always been a cult favorite. With two babies at home and a return to some regular weekly days at IO, Jennie looks forward to offering her long time clients as well as some lucky first timers her expert touch on a regular basis.
Alexis Klein (SAN FRANCISCO) has been nurturing and motivating clients to achieve balanced skin since 2011. Her education was received from the Cinta Aveda Institute. She is passionate about holistic health and the way it effects our bodies. Her approach centers around the understanding that internal factors play a pivotal role in the surface of our skin. Alexis's treatments are customized to your skin needs. She offers a relaxed experience that brings a partnership and awareness to a deeper level within. She prides herself on her meticulous waxing and is focused on the well-being of your skin underneath thus creating a healthy look.
Alicia Moody's (MARIN) approach to skin health is inspired by innovative methods of healing, tradition and simplicity, including aromatherapy, homeopathy, and Ayurveda. Alicia began her career in 1997 in her hometown of Los Angeles. She joined the IO family for the first time in 2004 after moving to San Francisco and quickly gained a loyal following. After a brief return to LA, she has rejoined the Esthetics team--this time in Marin.
Alicia believes in availing herself to continuous hands-on education from various disciplines so that she can remain versed in the most effective products and techniques. Her ultimate goal remains supporting each and every client on the path to "clear and creamy" skin (her favorite phrase), while also reinforcing attitudes of healthy self esteem. And she is a quick and proficient waxer with a calming presence for even the most nervous first-timer! CA Permit #Z26604
Summer Murphy (MARIN), a California native, recently landed in the Bay Area from Los Angeles where she had trained both in a clinical setting as well as a luxurious retreat spa. Combining the best of both worlds she delivers progressive, result-oriented treatments with tension relieving acupressure massage and a compassionate touch. Her intention is to be a haven of relaxation while inspiring others to attain and maintain the skin of their dreams through client education, building relationships and custom designed home care regimens. Summer consistently deepens her knowledge in the skincare industry on advanced anti-aging and acne remedies. Summer entered the field of aesthetics after her personal battles with acne which has resulted in a genuine appreciation for beautiful skin and considers it a gift to extend her expertise in this healing form. CA Permit #Z107150
Yolanda Porrata (SAN FRANCISCO + MARIN) creates an unforgettable spa experience with passion, creativity and a love for all things beautiful. She is an experienced esthetician with an exceptional gift for cultivating genuine relationships with her clients. Listening carefully to their needs and concerns, she is able to make well-informed recommendations and provide outstanding service. Yolanda thrives on providing the appropriate atmosphere, from the quiet and grounded facial to the great sense of humor and confidence during waxing. She’ll make you feel safe and at ease even while receiving her highly reputed Brazilian bikini wax. Growing up in the beautiful wilds of West Marin, Yolanda’s appreciation for the natural world has given her a holistic approach to skin care. She believes that the health of this planet depends on each and every one of us. These core beliefs and her commitment to educating her clients on their best choices in skincare are evident from the beginning and keep loyal client’s coming back for more. CA Permit #Z63617
Ashley Smith (SAN FRANCISCO) grew up in Utah where in her teens she began struggling with acne. Although the skin disease proved troubling, it began a lifelong interest and passion for understanding health and skincare. Ashley began her career in the medical spa setting working for prominent dermatologists in Northern and Southern California. She brings a results oriented approach to her work at International Orange. Ashley loves listening to her client’s stories, struggles and successes while in the room. She is a warm and intuitive esthetician who strives to make the spa treatment an opportunity for her clients to fully relax while achieving beautiful skin. CA Permit #Z70821
Nikole Stepanenko (SAN FRANCISCO) grew up in her mom's salon in New Jersey where she developed a love of skin care at an early age. Moving to San Francisco in 1993, Nikole continued to work and grow in the beauty and wellness industry. A lifelong passion for well being through nutrition, yoga, meditation and skin care has given her a seemingly natural ability to share her knowledge during treatments by educating her clients to help them achieve their skincare goals, while still delivering relaxing and invigorating service. Detail oriented and meticulous, she takes the time to make sure her clients feel satisfied on every visit. As a Reiki practitioner she also utilizes healing energy to help her guests with their skin concerns. She loves to provide pampering experiences and her goal in every facial is to send the guest into a relaxed, dream-like state, leaving their stress behind and their skin feeling rejuvenated. CA Permit #Z106584
Natalie Voigner (SAN FRANCISCO) is a San Francisco native. Licensed in 2006, she has taken on a devotion to health and wellness which translates to her innate ability to assist people in looking and feeling their best. She knew from an early age that she wanted to be a skincare expert, loving all aspects of the beauty and wellness industry. She's a self proclaimed product nerd and knows how every ingredient will compliment or even transform your complexion. Over the past 10 years she has had the privilege to work with many amazing clients, gaining their trust and guiding them to overcome even their most troubling skincare concerns. Her philosophy acknowledges looking at the whole picture of mind, body and outside influence to bring balance and harmony to your skin. She also has a passion and skill for result- oriented treatments including microdermabrasion and peels. Being able to combine these effective treatments with IO's top of the line and holistic skincare is her absolute dream. With her excellent communication, intuition and expertise, Natalie is sure to leave you feeling invigorated and excited about the future of your skincare success. CA Permit #Z80980
Cheri Wong (SAN FRANCISCO) is a Bay Area native. She was drawn to esthetics as it combined her holistic approach to life with her background in art and design. She loves the interactive, hands-on aspect of skincare, whether it is in the detailed work in shaping brows or promoting healthy, radiant skin. Her Aveda Institute training and intuitive nature allows her to easily connect with clients and ensure they receive services customized to their specific needs. Her goal is to reveal the skins natural balance and beauty and educate her clients on how to maintain it with a simple, yet effective routine. She is known for her relaxing touch and enjoys incorporating different techniques to create a unique sensory experience. CA Permit #Z94175